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  • Anselm Lingnau

    Anselm Lingnau March 14, 2006, 3:28 p.m. (Message 44703)

    Re: Teaching and guns

    xxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xx.xx wrote:
    > My feeling
    > is get them in by lowering the bar as far as possible, certainly below any
    > sense of having to master footwork first.  Once they are in, they will
    > begin to look around and rather enjoy the superior footwork of those
    > around them.  Then they will look down at their own hippo feet and feel
    > slightly embarrassed and want to improve themselves.
    It has been my experience that many of the, er, hippo-feet dancers, especially 
    those with some tenure, are pretty much immune to the example of other 
    dancers with gazelle feet. Why bother, we're having fun already! And don't 
    *we* look just as graceful as those others? After all, we've been dancing for 
    twenty years already! And yes, we do feel we ought to be on the demonstration 
    team, thank you very much.
    On the other hand, many do want to »improve«. As a teacher, I tend to 
    concentrate on these rather than waste my breath and class time on those who 
    think they are God's gift to country dancing but in fact have come in 
    straight from the pond. They're apparently having fun so why torture them 
    with footwork that they weren't going to waste any effort on back when the 
    coelacanths thought trying to breathe air might be a cool idea for a change.
    > As the teacher, I try to drop hints through humour, point out examples of
    > good footwork by those around, indicate that I have got a long way to go
    > myself but that it is enjoyable to improve.  And do the occasional
    > boringly easy dance so they have a chance to try to get their feet right.
    > But it is never stressed, always in the background.  I am usually
    > reactive, only occasionally assertive.  With the result, as I mentioned in
    > my first email, that our club has a reputation for "appalling" footwork
    > amongst the purists.  It was even suggested that we had a cheek inviting
    > Marian Anderson out to play for such low standards of dancing.  Sigh!!
    This sounds like you're doing the right thing, in the long run. If your group 
    prospers, and if Marian doesn't drop her box in shock, you must be doing 
    *something* right. Keep up the good work!
    Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany .....................
    When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
                                                -- Oscar Wilde, *An Ideal Husband*

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